We know vitamin C can fight the onset of colds. But did you know it is also a key nutrient that fends off cataracts? New research suggests that it might prevent this vision problem. Lead author Dr. Christopher Hammond explained that vitamin C may slow down progression of the eye condition, if not completely prevent it.
“While we cannot totally avoid developing cataracts, we may be able to delay their onset and keep them from worsening significantly by eating a diet rich in vitamin C,” he clarified.
Cataracts are closely associated with age. As we grow older, the lens of our eyes get cloudy. This condition, however, can be treated by removing the hazy layer. If left untreated, cataracts may lead to vision loss.
In addition, according to Dr. Hammond and team, family history accounts for 35 percent of the risk of developing cataracts while environmental factors like diet and lifestyle account for 65 percent.
In this study, the researchers took in over one thousand pairs of British female twins aged 60 or above. Those who took high quantities of vitamin C had a lower risk of developing cataracts. However, getting vitamin C isn’t enough. To be effective at suppressing cataract buildup, vitamin C should be obtained through diet, not via supplements.
“The most important finding was that vitamin C intake from food seemed to protect against cataract progression,” Dr. Hammond said.
An ophthalmology professor at Kings College London, Dr. Hammond explained that a diet rich in vitamin C prevents oxidation in the eyes, which can lead to the clouding of the lens. A boost in vitamin C via proper diet will give our eyes extra protection against cataract buildup.
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